How long can you stay at an Alaska rest area? Can you park overnight at an Alaska rest area? Is camping allowed at rest areas in Alaska? What are the full Alaska rest area rules?
Alaska Rest Area Rules
The State of Alaska has not adopted any laws or administrative codes with respect to its highway rest areas. The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has built several rest areas but has not published a listing or map of their locations.
Alaska rest areas are simple facilities, consisting of a dirt lot with a vault toilet, picnic table, and bear-proof trash containers. They are nothing like the modern rest areas seen in Lower 48 with pavement, numerous lanes for trucks and RVs, and information centers.
As of this writing, there are no special rules for Alaska rest areas aside from the obvious standards of no littering, no destroying public property, and keep your pets on a leash.
Scenic View Areas & Roadside Pull Outs
The DOT&PF has also built numerous “scenic view areas” which are very similar to rest areas except they lack restroom facilities. There are also countless “roadside pull outs” which are just sections of wide shoulders where you can pull off. The same rules (or lack of rules) apply to scenic view areas and roadside pull outs just as with rest areas.
How Long Can You Stay at an Alaska Rest Area?
There is no time limit. Because rest areas are intended to give drivers a place to rest and relief, you are allowed to remain there for as long as it takes for you to resume driving safely.
Is Overnight Parking Allowed at Alaska Rest Areas?
Yes, overnight parking is allowed. There are currently no laws or rules against overnight parking. Because Alaska rest areas are open 24 hours a day, you are allowed to arrive in the evening and remain until the following morning, if you need to.
Are You Allowed to Sleep at an Alaska Rest Area?
Yes, sleeping is allowed. There are no rules against sleeping in your vehicle at an Alaska Rest Area. Moreover, the State of Alaska has no laws against sleeping alongside a highway. Many drivers can be seen parked along the side of a highway in Alaska doing just that.
Is Camping Allowed at Rest Areas in Alaska?
Yes, camping is allowed. There are no laws or regulations against camping at rest areas in Alaska. Keep in mind, however that the DOT&PF built rest areas for the purpose of temporary rest and relief. You are not expected to remain at a rest area for an extended period of time.
Because rest areas in Alaska are small, and don’t have the space to accommodate dozens of vehicles, keep camping equipment close to your car or RV. Give room to other drivers.
If you need to stay overnight at a rest area, go ahead and do so, but leave the next day. Don’t hog it up!